Bike to Work Day is just around the corner on Thursday, May 10! Bay Area Bike to Work Day (BTWD) organizers named the winners of the 2018 Bike Commuter of the Year awards. Given to individuals for inspiring bicycling in their communities, the Bike Commuter of the Year award recognizes a winner from each of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties for their commitment to bicycling as their primary mode of transport. In many cases, their dedication to pedaling has inspired others to get on bicycles and ride -- to work, to school, even just for fun.
Sonoma County: Tracey Jones
Tracey Jones, M.D. is so dedicated to bicycle commuting that when she moved to Santa Rosa for her job at Kaiser Permanente, she chose a home within cycling distance of the hospital. “Five miles is the sweet spot,” she says. “I can ride in my work clothes without working up too much of a sweat.” She even bike commuted during her internship in Michigan, although “winter was a more challenging time to bike, but I didn’t own a car at that point.”
With a specialty in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Tracey is a role model to her patients and coworkers, demonstrating the benefits of physical activity. She also practices and teaches the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, and recently bought a Burley bike trailer so that she can haul her musical instruments and materials to class.
Her coworker Todd Weitzenberg, M.D., has witnessed her daily cycling commute since they were in residency together. “Rain or shine, day or night, hot or cold, Tracey rides her bike to and from work. I am an avid competitive cyclist and find bike commuting difficult and hazardous, but I am inspired and amazed by her commitment to the health, fitness and safety aspects of cycling and is a role model for bike commuting.”
Tracey’s commitment doesn’t stop with her daily commute. She has given back to the cycling community by serving on the Santa Rosa Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and is a member of Kaiser’s ‘Green Team,” working to make their operations more sustainable. Her advice to someone just starting out? Start small – just ride once a month or once a week at first.
“You don’t have to go from driving everywhere to biking everywhere to make a difference. If we can just get people to stop and ask the question of whether they could bike to their destination rather than drive before just jumping into the car – THAT alone would be revolutionary.”
To learn more about Bike to Work Day, visit the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition here.